Mud slinging

January 3, 2018

Play like this is simple yet vitally important to development – you will observe many important skills, communications & processes.

boy throwing a mud ball
Author: Muddy Faces

Age Range: all ages

Duration: less than an hour

Location: anywhere

Time Of Day: any time

Season: any

Tags: mud, throw

Category: outdoor play sports & adventure


Who said mud slinging was bad?
It’s great to see children’s faces light up as they ask ‘What, really? We can chuck mud about?’
During this activity we observed so many processes and communications – confirming once again that learning does occur through play:
– discussion and resolution as boundaries and rules were worked out
– encouragement and competition during the slinging
– artistic opinions + a couple of rude ones in the descriptions of what the mud splats look like
– maths, as trajectories were discussed
– science, as changes in the texture of the mud effected the stickiness of the splat.


Establish any ground rules – discuss and agree the target area, and consider the implications if the target is missed.

Prepare or find some nice gloopy mud.

Step 1

Take a handful of mud and press it into a ball.

Step 2

Take aim and fire!

Step 3

Check out your handy work.

Step 4

Decide just throwing is not enough – now its who can throw it the highest!


Be prepared to get a little bit dirty if you stand in the line of fire.


An activity that could be seen to be unproductive actually demonstrated many skills – physical development, hand eye coordination, gross motor skills, mental processing (particularly when they changed what they were aiming to do), and communications – always discussing, adapting, not always agreeing.

What will you see?